Pongam Tree (Millettia pinnata)
is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native to eastern and tropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific islands. It is often known by the synonym pongamia pinnata, as it was moved to the genus Millettia only recently. Its common names include Karanji in Hindi, Indian beech and Pongame oiltree.
A fast-growing deciduous tree up to 20 metres tall that is thought to have originated in India and is found throughout Asia. It is a deciduous tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy that spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant. Flowering: March-April.
Pongam tree is Tree that grows to about 15–25 m (50–80 ft) in height with a large canopy that spreads equally wide. It may be deciduous for short periods. It has a straight or crooked trunk, 50–80 cm (20–30 in) in diameter, with grey-brown bark, which is smooth or vertically fissured. Branches are glabrous with pale stipulate scars. The imparipinnate leaves of the tree alternate and are short-stalked, rounded, or cuneate at the base, ovate or oblong along the length, obtuse-acuminate at the apex, and not toothed on the edges. They are a soft, shiny burgundy when young, and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses, with prominent veins underneath.
A thick brownish oil can be extracted from the large seeds, and is used industrially and in medicine, notably for the treatment of rheumatism.